Armenian Requiem Album Release Party
The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music hosts record release reception for Krouse's Armenian Requiem on NAXOS at the Ostin Recording Studio on March 11th, 2019. In addition to the composer and members of his family, the guests included librettist Vatsche Barsoumian, conductor Neal Stulberg, concertmaster Movses Pogossian, organist Christoph Bull, baritone Vladimir Chernov. Also on hand were sponsors Andy and Hayde Torosyan, Studio Director Luis Henao, engineers Sergey Parvenov and Fred Vogler, NARAS representative Julie Smith, and composer Richard Danielpour. Musical performances were provided by mezzo-soprano Danielle Segen and the VEM String Quartet.
"The Armenian Requiem is a culminating work for me, one of my most ambitious ever, but it will surely not be my last. As I write this, I am in the early stages of composing a choral symphony on texts by the Armenian Saint, Gregory of Narek, whose transcendant words served as one of the most far-reaching movements of the Armenian Requiem. I had always intended to write a ‘requiem’, but I had always assumed that it would be in Latin. The idea of composing the first ever polyphonic setting of the ancient Armenian liturgy was an idea that came spontaneously and easily over evening tea with my collaborator, and compiler of the text, Vatsche Barsoumian, and was the third work in the Armenian languange commissioned by the Lark Music Academy of Glendale, California. When I first set eyes upon the impressive (and daunting) text in fifteen movements (!) I knew immediately that it was a masterpiece in its own write, and that I would need to muster a lifetime of experience to do it justice. This is precisely what I endeavored to do during the sixth months that I had to compose the piece if it was to be ready in time to mark and honor the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. I was able to complete my task and the work was premiered on April 23, 2015 at Royce Hall, UCLA. I was most pleased with the results, and am honored that Naxos has chosen to share our work with the world. If in some very small way our work uplifts and improves life on this planet, Vatsche and I will be most gratified." ~ Ian Krouse